Skip to content

Vanishing Tribes Update: Success and Opportunity for West Papua?

August 21, 2014

Dear friends,

So far, readers have downloaded the Vanishing Tribes eBook about three hundred times – from West Papua, Indonesia, five Asian and nine European countries, and mostly (by far) from the USA, our key target audience. Worldwide, we’re averaging five to six downloads a day since a few days in the thirties following Victor Mambor’s article in Tabloid Jubi and an earlier boost from Radio New Zealand.

This is great! But can it help tip the odds at a time when new President Jokowi might open things up like President Habibie did in 2000? This may be a promising juncture in Indonesian history and a time when West Papuan activists have greater leverage in the quest for Papuan freedom.

We’re thankful for all your help with the initial launch of Vanishing Tribes. But our request in June for reviews, which are so critical at this stage, resulted in none. To boost readership and make it last, please click on a rating, or even better, write a few words about Vanishing Tribes on any of these four eBook providers’ sites: Amazon, Apple iBooks, Goodreads or Google Play. (Coming soon to Barnes & Noble.)

It just takes a couple of minutes to log in to any (or all) of these eBook providers (don’t start an account if you need to protect your identity) then search for Vanishing Tribes, then post your rating or review. As a sample, here’s one of the two unsolicited reviews we’ve received to date:

This story about a West Papuan girl reveals the real world struggles of the West Papuan people against oppression and violence. An important view inside an issue that is too often overlooked in a place where human rights violations and war crimes go unnoticed. This book is an excellent way to become more informed about this important world issue.

All versions of the illustrated novel can be found through


freedom 50 creative

AMP: “New York Agreement Illegal, Self-Determination Solution for West Papua

August 20, 2014

Also video of demonstration here: ]

Bulletin TPN

Thursday, August 14, 2014
Related Actions of Peace Demonstration AMP, This Statement!

Photo: AMP Flag / Doc. AMP

"New York Agreement August 15, 1962 International Agreements Illegal, Self-Determination Rights Democratic Solution For People of West Papua "

Press Release

The signing of the Treaty of New York (New York Agreement) between the Netherlands and Indonesia regarding disputed territory of West New Guinea (West Papua) on August 15, 1962 carried out without the involvement of any representative of the people of Papua in terms of the agreement relating to the survival of the people of Papua.

This Agreement governs the future of West Papua, which consists of 29 Articles which set 3 kinds of things, where the set 14-21 article about " "Self-Determination (Self-Determination), which is based on international practices that one person, one vote (One Man One Vote ) " . And article 12 and 13, which regulate the transfer of administration of the United Nations Interim Government Agency ‘UNTEA’ to Indonesia.

After the transfer of administration was carried out on May 1, 1963, Indonesia, which was given the responsibility to prepare the implementation of self-determination and development in Papua was not run as agreed in the Treaty of New York,

Indonesia did conditioning instead territory through military operations and crushing the pro-independence movement of the people of Papua. More ironically, before the process of self-determination is done, right 7 April 1967 the state-owned mining company Freeport American imperialists have signed a contract with the Indonesian government Pertamannya.

Claims over Papua region has been carried out by Freeport Indonesia with first contract two years before the Act (Act of). Thus, of the 809 337 people who have the right Papua, in 1025 represented only person who had previously been quarantined and only 175 people who give opinions. Deliberation for Consensus Indonesia to implement PEPERA legitimize undemocratic, full of terror, intimidation and manipulation as well as gross human rights violations.

Such circumstances; terror, intimidation, arrests, shootings and even killings of Papuans continue to happen until today its reform era Indonesia. Rights Papuan People no value to Indonesia.

So, in commemoration of 5 2 Year Agreement New York / New York Agreement is Illegal, Papua Student Alliance [AMP] declare our political attitudes to the regime of SBY-Boediono, or a new government Jokowi JK, the Netherlands and the United Nations to immediately:

1. Provide Freedom and Rights of Self-Determination as a Solution For People’s Democratic Papua.

2. Menuntup and stop the exploitation of all company activities Multi National Corporation (MNC) owned imperialist countries; Freeport, BP, Tangguh LNG, Medco, Corindo and others from throughout the Land of Papua.

3. interesting Indonesian Military (TNI-Police) Organic and non-organic from the Land of Papua to stop all forms of crimes against humanity by the Indonesian state against the people of Papua.

Thus this press release is made, we will continue to fight against all forms of colonialism, oppression and exploitation of the Nation and the People of West Papua. Thank you for the support of the Friends of journalists in reporting issues Papuan people for the creation of democratization in Papua

Greetings Democracy!
Yogyakarta, 15/08/201 4

Spokesman Action

Abby Douw

TPN on Thursday, August 14, 2014

Kamis, 14 Agustus 2014

Terkait Aksi Demontrasi Damai AMP, Ini Pernyataan Sikap!


Foto: AMP Flag/Dok. AMP

“Perjanjian New York 15 Agustus 1961 Kesepakatan Internasional Yang Ilegal, Hak Menentukan Nasib Sendiri Solusi Demokratis Bagi Rakyat Papua Barat”

Press Release

Penandatanganan Perjanjian New York (New York Agreemnent) antara Belanda dan Indonesia terkait sengketa wilayah West New Guinea (Papua Barat) pada tanggal 15 Agustus 1962 dilakukan tanpa keterlibatan satupun wakil dari rakyat Papua pada hal perjanjian itu berkaitan dengan keberlangsungan hidup rakyat Papua.

Perjanjian ini mengatur masa depan wilayah Papua Barat yang terdiri dari 29 Pasal yang mengatur 3 macam hal, dimana pasal 14-21 mengatur tentang ““Penentuan Nasib Sendiri (Self Determination) yang didasarkan pada praktek Internasional yaitu satu orang satu suara (One Man One Vote)”. Dan pasal 12 dan 13 yang mengatur transfer Administrasi dari Badan Pemerintahan Sementara PBB ‘UNTEA’ kepada Indonesia.

Setelah tranfer administrasi dilakukan pada 1 Mei 1963, Indonesia yang diberi tanggungjawab untuk mempersiapkan pelaksanaan penentuan nasib dan pembangunan di Papua tidak menjalankan sesuai kesepakatan dalam Perjanjian New york,

Indonesia malah melakukan pengkondisian wilayah melalui operasi militer dan penumpasan gerakan prokemerdekaan rakyat Papua. Lebih ironis, sebelum proses penentuan nasib dilakukan, tepat 7 April 1967 Freeport perusahaan pertambangan milik negara imperialis Amerika telah menandatangani Kontrak Pertamannya dengan pemerintah Indonesia.

Klaim atas wilayah Papua sudah dilakukan oleh Indonesia dengan kontrak pertama Freeport dua tahun sebelum Penentuan Pendapat Rakyat (PEPERA). Sehingga, dari 809.337 orang Papua yang memiliki hak, hanya diwakili 1025 orang yang sebelumnya sudah dikarantina dan cuma 175 orang yang memberikan pendapat. Musyawarah untuk Mufakat melegitimasi Indonesia untuk melaksanakan PEPERA yang tidak demokratis, penuh teror, intimidasi dan manipulasi serta adanya pelanggaran HAM berat.

Keadaan yang demikian; teror, intimidasi, penahanan, penembakan bahkan pembunuhan terhadap rakyat Papua terus terjadi hingga dewasa ini diera reformasinya indonesia. Hak Asasi Rakyat Papua tidak ada nilainya bagi Indonesia.

Maka, dalam rangka peringatan 52 Tahun Perjanjian New York/New York Agreement yang Ilegal, Aliansi Mahasiswa Papua [AMP] menyatakan sikap politik kami kepada Rezim SBY-Boediono, atau pemerintahan baru Jokowi JK, Belanda dan PBB untuk segera :

1. Berikan Kebebasan dan Hak Menentukan Nasib Sendiri Sebagai Solusi Demokratis Bagi Rakyat Papua.
2. Menuntup dan menghentikan aktifitas eksploitasi semua perusahaan Multy National Coorporation (MNC) milik negara-negara Imperialis ; Freeport, BP, LNG Tangguh, Medco, Corindo dan lain-lain dari seluruh Tanah Papua.
3. Menarik Militer Indonesia (TNI-Polri) Organik dan Non Organik dari seluruh Tanah Papua untuk menghentikan segala bentuk kejahatan terhadap kemanusiaan oleh negara Indonesia terhadap rakyat Papua.

Demikian press release ini dibuat, kami akan terus melakukan perlawanan terhadap segala bentuk penjajahan, penindasan dan penghisapan terhadap Bangsa dan Rakyat Papua Barat. Terima kasih atas dukungan Kawan-kawan jurnalis dalam memberitakan persoalan rakyat Papua demi terciptanya demokratisasi di Tanah Papua
Salam Demokrasi!
Yogyakarta, 15/08/2014

Jubir Aksi

Abby Douw

TPN di Kamis, Agustus 14, 2014

FREE WEST PAPUA Newsletter – August 2014

August 20, 2014
Take Action: ask your government to support media freedom in West Papua
Email not displaying properly? View the online version in your browser

Free West Papua Campaign Newsletter
August 2014

Last month the people of West Papua gave one of the clearest signals to date of their desire for independence with over 80% of West Papuans boycotting the Indonesian Presidential elections. Unfortunately human rights abuses continue to be commited in West Papua and two French journalists were recently arrested for reporting on the deteriorating situation in the Lanny Jaya region. This has sparked a new international movement for media freedom in West Papua and we are asking you to request that your government add their voice to this call.

Thank you for your continued support.

Take Action: ask your government to support media freedom in West Papua

The New Zealand government recently passed a motion calling for “genuine media freedom in West Papua”. Sadly, on 6th August, two French journalists reporting in West Papua were arrested. These events have sparked a new international call for media freedom in West Papua.

Please support this movement by asking your government to join New Zealand in calling on Indonesia to allow full freedom for journalists to report on the political situation in West Papua…

Read more

Worldwide FWPC protests to refuse New York Agreement

On Friday 15th August, the Free West Papua Campaign held protests all around the world to refuse the so called “New York Agreement”, a deal made on 15th August 1962, giving control of West Papua to Indonesia…

Read more

Victor Yeimo released from prison

The Free West Papua Campaign is very pleased to announce that Victor Yeimo, the Chairman of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) was finally released from prison after serving more than a year in jail.

Read more

Over 80% of West Papuans boycott the Indonesian elections

On Wednesday 9th July, the people of West Papua held a nation-wide boycott of the Indonesian presidential elections after many pro-independence groups issued statements calling for a mass refusal to vote for any Indonesian government…

Read more

Free West Papua Campaign

Tel: +44 (0) 1865 403202
Fax: +44 (0) 1865 403217
PO Box 656, Oxford, OX3 3AP, UK

Homepage | About us

Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | RSS

Rallies in West Papua

August 19, 2014

Rallies in West Papua
Below are 3 google translates of 2 rallies that took place in West Papua . The first two reports are on the rally in Manokwari which called for the release of Robert Yelemaken and Onni Weya. (Note. The second report implies Robert Yelemaken has been released but more info later).

The 3rd report is on the rally in jayapura , calling for the release of Jason Ngelia and Pepuho Claus, members of (uproar).

Re-open past cases of gross human rights violations in West Papua

August 19, 2014

Received Yan Christian Warinussy, Executive-Director of the
LP3BH-Manokwari, 18 August 2014

The Institute for Research, Study and Development of Legal Aid
(LP3BH-Manokwari) has urged the National Human Rights Commission
[KOMNAS HAM] to re-open and re-investigate cases of gross human rights
violations that occurred in the island of Biak on 6 June 1998 and the
genocidal violations that occurred in the Central Highlands from 1977
to 1978 (which are known as the Neglected Genocide).

As a civil society organisation that focusses on Law Enforcement
and the defence of basic human rights in the Land of Papua, the
LP3BH-Manokwari undertook an analysis of the report produced by
ELS-HAM, the Institute for the Study and Advocacy of Human
Rights-Papua which was entitled ‘Nama Tanpa Pusara, Pusara Without
Names, [pusara is a cemetery] July 1999.

Following a survey undertaken by KOMNAS HAM of the Bloody Biak
Case in 2003, there was no recommendation for this case of Gross Human
Rights Violations to be thoroughly investigated.

Based on the findings of ELS-HAM Papua of an attack on Filep Karma
and his colleagues on 6 June 1998 when eight people were killed, three
people disappeared while four were seriously injured (and subsequently
taken to Makassar for medical treatment) while 33 others were less
seriously injured. Fifty people were arrested. Later, 32 bodies were
found in Padaido Island and the eastern region of Biak Island.

In the Central Highlands, during 1977 and 1978, according to data
collected by the Asian Human Rights Commission, 4,146 Indigenous
Papuans were killed during a series of military operations in the

Data subsequently revealed that 620 people were killed in the
District of Bolakme, 777 were killed in Ibele, 62 people were killed
in Central Ibele, 241 were killed in Iluga, 579 people were killed in
Kobakma, 143 people were killed in Makki. 50 people were killed in
Napua, 56 people were killed in Paniai, 138 people were killed in
Pirime, 334 people were killed in Tagime, 835 people were killed in
Wosilimo , 187 people were killed in Jayawijaya, 665 people were
killed in Yalenga, 8 people were killed in Hetegima and 117 people
were killed in Kurulu.

According to LP3BH-Manokwari, the report of the AHRC said that
what happened in the Central Highlands amounted to a case of genocide,
and it was the task of the National Human Rights Commission to conduct
an investigation for legal proceedings to proceed in accordance with
the provisions of Law 26/2000 on Human Rights Courts.

We also call on the leadership of the Christian Evangelical Church
(GKI) to support the call for these cases to be re-opened, bearing in
mind that the vast majority of the victims were members of the GKI.

The GKI and other Christian churches should not remain silent
about these cases and should call for an investigation into the crimes
against humanity that have been committed by the Indonesian Army and
Police Force during military operations undertaken in the Land of
Papua for the past fifty years.


[Translated by Carmel Budiardjo]

West Papua Report August 2014

August 7, 2014

West Papua Report
August 2014

This is the 124th in a series of monthly reports that focus on developments affecting Papuans. This series is produced by the non-profit West Papua Advocacy Team (WPAT) drawing on media accounts, other NGO assessments, and analysis and reporting from sources within West Papua. This report is co-published by the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN). Back issues are posted online atedmcw. If you wish to receive the report directly via e-mail, send a note to etan. Link to this issue: .

The Report leads with "Perspective," an analysis piece; followed by "Update," a summary of some developments during the covered period; and then "Chronicle" which includes analyses, statements, new resources, appeals and action alerts related to West Papua. Anyone interested in contributing a Perspective or responding to one should write to edmcw. The opinions expressed in Perspectives are the author’s and not necessarily those of WPAT or ETAN.For additional news on West Papua see the reg.westpapua listserv archive or on Twitter.


This month’s PERSPECTIVE takes the form of West Papua Advocacy Team’s (WPAT) open letter to President-elect Joko "Jokowi" Widodo urging him to address fundamental problems in West Papua.

UPDATE notes that Widodo won substantial majorities in West Papua, but that many Papuans boycotted the election. A prominent Papuan activist fled West Papua to Australia following attempts to abduct her. The Asian Human Rights Commission called the President-elect’s attention to outstanding human rights problems in West Papua and elsewhere. Leaders of the "Federal State of West Papua" were released after serving nearly three years in prison for their roles in the Third Papuan People’s Congress. Planning is under way for a meeting of Papuan groups in Vanuatu. President-elect Widodo has criticized a deal with Freeport McMoRan signed by outgoing president Yudhoyono. West Papuan students staged coordinated protests in Java over the denial of Papuan rights, including the right to self-determination. Recent shootings have raised concerns over a possible "sweeping operation" as a retaliatory "collective punishment" response. The new Army Chief of Staff has a record of provocative statements which point to an intent to defame and persecute rights advocates.

CHRONICLE highlights a motion by the Green Party’s Catherine Delahunty in the New Zealand Parliament concerning the absence of media freedom in West Papua. A new documentary reveals repression in West Papua. Amnesty International urged Widodo to address human rights abuses and security force impunity. A new article focuses on institutional racism in West Papua. Groups write urging Indonesia to implement the UN’s Universal Periodic Review recommendations concerning West Papua.


The following "perspective" comprises an open letter to President-elect Joko Widodo from the West Papua Advocacy Team (WPAT).

Dear President-elect Joko Widodo:

Congratulations on your victory in Indonesia’s presidential election. The triumph of your campaign gives strong evidence that Indonesia is on a democratic path.

Your administration will face many daunting challenges, among them those associated with violations of human rights, most committed by Indonesian security and intelligence forces, and the broad impunity enjoyed by those accused of perpetrating these abuses.

Nowhere in the archipelago have human rights violations and impunity been more numerous or more flagrant than in West Papua. (We use here the preferred term those in the region encompassing Indonesia’s easternmost provinces of Papua and West Papua.)

We note with concern that some of your own former-military supporters face serious charges for violating human rights, including crimes committed in West Papua.We also are concerned that during the presidency of your party’s leader,, Megawati Sukarnoputri, the Papuan leader Theys Eluay was assassinated by Kopassus and the broadly rejected "Special Autonomy" plan was imposed.

We welcome your decision to visit Jayapura early in your campaign. In April, you campaigned there during the parliamentary election and you returned to West Papua in June while campaigning for president. At that time you, made welcome pledges to improve both education and healthcare for Papuans. You also promised support for development of economic infrastructure, especially in the east. In your campaign Action Program, ("A Path for Change for an Indonesia That Is Sovereign, Self-Sufficient and Full of Character") you also pledged to address deep-seated environmental and resource extraction problems throughout the archipelago, problems that especially burden the Papuan people.

While West Papua ranks very poorly in health, education, employment and other critical indices, we urge you not to consider such "development" concerns at the cost of more pressing ones. In the past "development" schemes originated in Jakarta have failed to address the plight of Papuans who have been systematically disadvantaged by central government programs primarily designed to assist non-Papuan migrants and transmigrants. Such "development" programs only deepen the marginalization of the Papuan population.

Moreover, your welcome pledges to improve health services and education and to end the destructive exploitation of West Papua’s environment fail to address more fundamental issues confronting West Papua. For decades, Indonesian security forces and intelligence agents have employed a genocidal security approach involving systematic repression and intimidation. As a consequence, Papuans face unrelenting marginalization and humiliation within their homeland. They have suffered torture and assassination. They have endured displacement by the thousands and the destruction of homes, churches and schools in "sweeping operations." Previous Indonesian administrations have been complicit in this abuse by either ordering such policies or because they have failed to end the abuses or to prosecute the perpetrators. We urge you to bring to justice those responsible for these crimes.

As President you must move definitively to end the security approach as a means of addressing peaceful, legal dissent in West Papua. We urge you to order a demilitarization of West Papua, a demand long voiced by Papuans.

We also urge immediate reforms to the Indonesian criminal code to remove penalties for "subversion," a holdover from the period of Dutch colonial rule, often used to punish those exercising rights guaranteed under Indonesian and international law. We also call on you to release the scores of Papuan political prisoners currently imprisoned under these and similar laws which have criminalized peaceful protest.

We commend your June 5 public pledge to allow foreign journalists and international organizations to enter West Papua. In this context, we condemn the policies of previous Indonesian administrations which sought to conceal the human rights tragedy of the Papuan people by preventing access to travel, or work within West Papua by journalists, the UN, and other international and humanitarian organizations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross. We urge you to take action to end these restrictions upon entering office. Scheduling the long-delayed visit of the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture to West Papua would be a clear indicator of your intention to open the region. The concerns detailed above are certainly important, but it is more vital that your administration address as its first priority the fundamental, historical political problem at the root of the Papuan tragedy.

With the exception of former President Abdul Rahman Wahid, no Indonesian President has given serious consideration to Papuans’ fundamental civil and political rights including the right to self-determination. The "Act of Free Choice," through which Indonesia annexed West Papua in 1969, is widely recognized as a grotesque violation of Indonesia’s commitment to the United Nations to afford Papuans their right to self-determination. Scholars such as John Saltford and Peter Drooglever. as well as UN officials involved in this fake plebiscite, have detailed the deeply fraudulent nature of the "Act of Free Choice." It is high time that the Indonesian government accepted long-standing Papuan pleas for a direct, high level, internationally-mediated dialogue with West Papua involving leaders of Papuan civil society. These talks should address long-denied Papuan fundamental civil and political rights, including their fundamental right to self-determination.

During your campaign you said that you plan to hear the voice of the people. For decades succeeding administrations in Jakarta have ignored the voice of the Papuan people, who have cried out for justice and recognition of their fundamental rights.

We urge you to listen to the voices of West Papuans and seize the initiative: Engage with them, so that the tragedy that has afflicted the Papuan people for over a half century can finally end.


Widodo Does Well with Papuans But Many Boycott

Presidential candidate Joko Widodo received majorities in major Papuan districts and both Indonesian provinces, although the number of Papuans boycotting the July 9 election appeared to be significant.

According to the Indonesia’s election commission, in Papua province, 26.84% of voters supported Prabowo Subianto compared to 73.16% for Widodo; in West Papua province, Widodo received 67.63% versus 32.37 for Prabowo.

In Jayapura, Widodo picked up 96,780 votes, compared to the 69,220 votes for Prabowo. Yeremias Numberi, who was responsible for the vote count, told media on July 10 "The presidential election in Jayapura has been peaceful since the beginning of the campaign period. However, the number of voters decreased by 40 to 50 percent."

In Yahukimo, Widodo won 189,076 votes compared to Prabowo’s 72,537. Widodo also led in Nabire with 90,541 votes to Prabowo 41,061 votes. In Paniai, Widodo had 82,970 to Prabowo’s 7,662. Widodo also prevailed Jayapura regency with 61,353 votes in comparison to Prabowo’s 30,378 votes.

Papuan Activist Flees to Australia after "Abduction" Attempt
In an exclusive report for Crikey, the Australian online news site, Sally Whyte writes that a West Papuan activist fled to Australia fearing for her safety. Tineke Rumkabu said that members of the Indonesian military attempted to abduct her earlier in July after she participated in an NGO commemoration of the 1998 Biak massacre.

Rumkabu has been especially outspoken as a witness to the 1998 massacre On July 6, 1998, hundreds of peaceful demonstrators gathered on a prominent hill in the town of Biak were deliberately attacked by members of the Indonesian military and police. The Papuans were asserting their right to self-determination after more than three decades of Indonesian military occupation of West Papua. Bodies of many of those slaughtered were dumped at sea.

A 2013 civilian tribunal found that "On July 6, 1998 a peaceful demonstration in Biak was attacked by military and police forces under the control of the Government of Indonesia which resulted in the deaths and injuries of scores of people and the detention of a further group of the demonstrators by the military forces, police and members of the Indonesian Naval forces," and that the Indonesian government has attempted to "downplay the seriousness of the actions perpetrated by" its forces." Rumkabu testified before the tribunal.

see also July 2013 West Papua Report: Recalling the 1998 Massacre in Biak

Asian Human Rights Commission Highlights Rights Challenges for Widodo

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), in a July 23 statement, welcomed the formal announcement of President-elect Widodo election victory but noted that the new President’s commitment is "yet to be tested." The AHRC observed that some in Widodo’s circle have been tied to major human rights abuse cases, including former General Wiranto, pointing out that AHRC pointing out that Wiranto "was named by the citizen’s tribunal as the person responsible" for the 1998 Biak.

Also in Widodo’s circle is Hendropriyono, former Chief of the State Intelligence Agency (BIN). AHRC pointed out Hendropriyono’s involvement in the assassination of a prominent human rights activist Munir, who was poisoned to death in 2004. (WPAT notes that Hendropriyono is also linked to numerous major human rights violations in West Papua, including the assassination of Papuan political leader Theys Eluay.

The AHRC statement concluded with a lengthy focus on the human rights challenges posed by the situation in West Papua:

"An important human rights issue, the abuses in West Papua, appears to have been left out of the campaign of Joko Widodo and Jusuf Kalla. The AHRC is hoping that the failure of the President-elect to discuss the matter does not reflect his intention to continue Indonesia’s current policy on West Papua, which is mainly the use of militaristic approach to respond to the ongoing conflict in the region. We are calling for the end of this approach, and for the new administration of Jokowi-Jusuf Kalla to prioritise a constructive dialogue with the people of West Papua. The AHRC further demands the upcoming administration of Jokowi-Jusuf Kalla to put an end to the isolation of West Papua, and to give access for international journalists to the region." In a post-election statement ETAN noted several other rights violators on Jokowi’s campaign team: Former BIN deputy chief retired Major General Muchdi Purwoprandjono is also accused in the murder of Munir. Former Jakarta Military Commander Lieutenant General Sutiyoso is accused of torture in Timor-Leste. Sutiyoso was Jakarta military commander when thugs backed by troops and police attacked the headquarters of the Indonesian Democratic Party (PDI) in 1996. Retired General Ryamizard Ryacudu is a hardliner known for his xenophobic remarks and criticism of rights activists. As army chief of staff, he oversaw the implementation of martial law in Aceh beginning in May 2003. After the conviction of several Kopassus members for the murder of Theys Eluay, Ryamizard said that “the law says they are guilty. They are punished. But for me they are heroes.”

Leaders of the "Federal State of West Papua" Released

The "President of the Federal State of West Papua" Forkorus Yaboisembut, and "Prime Minister of the Federal State" Edison Waromi were released from Jayapura Prison on July 21. Also released were three other senior Federal State officials Selfius Bobii, Dominikus Disebut and Agus Learn. Thousands of Papuans reportedly welcomed the release with a "long march." The five were arrested and imprisoned in October 2011 following the Third Papuan People’s Congress in Jayapura where they were elected as leaders of the "Federal Republic."

Papuans To Meet in Vanuatu to Discuss West Papua Application to Join MSG

Jubi reports that Pastor Alain Nafuki, a member of Vanuatu Church Council, has been appointed as the chair of the committee organizing the "Conference of Papua Liberation Groups" which will be held in Port Villa, Vanuatu, later this year. Nafuki told Jubi "The purpose of this meeting is to facilitate various groups of Papuan Liberation in order to discuss and set West Papua’s membership application at the Melanesian Spearhead Group."

Andy Ayamiseba, representatives of West Papua National Coalition for Liberation (WPNCL) in Vanuatu said that the Government of Vanuatu "will invite three major factions, WPNCL, NRFPB [Negara Republik
Federal Papua Barat/Federal Republic of West Papua], and KNPB/Free West Papua Campaign, to form an organization umbrella to submit a new application to MSG.

In June, the Melanesian Spearhead Groups (MSG) rejected the membership application submitted by WPNCL and called on Papuans to submit a "fresh application" from "an inclusive and united umbrella group."

Outgoing SBY Cuts Last Minute Deal with Freeport

The Jakarta Post reports that the lame duck Yudhoyono administration has concluded a "strategic deal" with Freeport McMoRan that will allow the U.S. mining giant to continue operations after its license expires in 2021. The deal violates a pledge by Yudhoyono to consult with the president-elect before approving a deal. The new memorandum of understanding (MoU) will serve as the basis for amending the miner’s contract of work (CoW).

Widodo reacted to the MoU signing by noting that Yudhoyono had not consulted him. "The Freeport contract will expire in 2021. The current administration should not have sealed the deal," Widodo said. Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry director general for minerals and coal R. Sukhyar said that if Freeport meets its commitments under the MoU, “the government will not unreasonably withhold or delay the continuation of its operations.”

The MoU will not only constrain incoming President Widodo in his dealings with Freeport, but could form a template in dealings with other mining companies.

Among the key provisions of the MoU:

taxes eased when it exports semi-finished products once it agrees to provide US$115 million in surety bonds as part of its commitment to build a local smelter." * The company’s export tax will be 7.5 percent, significantly lower than the industry average. * However, Freeport will pay slightly higher royalties for copper — 4 percent up from 3.75 percent — and 3.5 percent for gold up from 1 percent. * Freeport will also "gradually sell a further 21 percent stake to the government," and the company’s "concession area will decrease to 122,000 hectares from 212,000 ha." WPAT Comment: Special Treatment for Freeport by Indonesian administrations is nothing new. Neither is the common practice of not engaging Papuans in the negotiations with Freeport.

Papuan Students Protest 1969 Annexation of West Papua in Java

West Papuan students, under the leadership of the Papuan Students Alliance (AMP) staged protests on July 15 in Semarang, Yogyakarta and Bandung. The main theme of the coordinated demonstrations was rejection of the "Act of Free Choice," the fraudulent plebiscite through which Indonesia annexed West Papua in 1969. The demonstrations called the act undemocratic and a gross human rights violation.

The AMP demonstrators demanded:

MIFEE food and energy plantation project in Merauke. Unknown Gunmen Kill Police; Sweeping Operation Feared

A group of armed men, alleged to be part of a Papuan separatist group, shot at eight police officers in Indawa village in mountainous Lanny Jaya district on July 28, Two died and six were injured. A police spokesperson Sr. Comr. Pudjo Sulistyo said the officers were training residents of Indawa village when they were attacked. The assault came on the same day an unidentified armed group attacked a military post in the Tinggi Nambut area of Papua’s Puncak Jaya district.

The police said that they would take the lead in pursuing the attackers, but it appears that the military will also be involved. Major General Christian Zebua head of the Papua Regional Military Command, said the military was ready to assist the police. "We are ready to offer our services in overcoming the armed groups that have recently attacked civilians as well as security personnel," he told ANTARA. At the beginning of August, the Indonesian military reported killing five "separatists" in Lanny Jaya. Zebu told the press: "We have shot five OPM members, and two of our personnel were also grazed by bullets," said Pa.

(WPAT Comment: The formation of "special teams" presumably incorporating military personnel into police units could be a precursor to launching of "sweeping operations" purportedly to target the shooters. However, past such operations have taken a heavy toll on local villagers, destroying civilian homes, churches, and displacing civilians into surrounding forests where people have no access to food, shelter or medical support. These operations appear to constitute collective punishment meted out against civilians, a specific war crime under international law.)

New Anti-Reform Army Chief of Staff

The anti-reform Lt. Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo became Indonesia’s Chief of Staff of the Army on July 25,. He will likely continue in that position for two years notwithstanding the transition to a new President in October. Nurmantyo was previously Chief of the Army Strategic Command. He has served as Brawijaya Military Command in East Java, as well as governor of the National Military Academy.

Nurmantyo’s promotion appears to represents a further blow to hopes for reform of the Indonesian military, an idea that has withered under the presidency of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. Nurmantyo’s public comments suggest a reversion to attitudes that challenge the principle of civilian supremacy over the military. He has called Indonesia’s democracy "empty" and said that "popular will expressed through elections is not always right." These comments, made last October at a Pancasila Youth (PP) rally, reflect the strength of TNI hardliners who oppose reform, including current restrictions on military involvement in politics.

Last May Kompas quoted Nurmantyo warning against "proxy wars" in which foreign interests would seek to use third parties within Indonesia to endanger national unity. Such third parties, he said, could include "separatist movements," workers or students. In an August 30 public lecture on "The Role of Youth in Confronting the Proxy War," he warned that "enemies will utilize and control non-state actors such as non-government organizations, mass organizations or individuals." He cited "the loss of East Timor" as an indication of such proxy wars.

WPAT Comment: Nurmantyo, for some time, has sought to create a context for retribution against those seeking to assert their civil and political rights in Indonesian public space. By asserting unsubstantiated nefarious ties to foreign agents, he has sought to create a mind set that would countenance such repression. Presumably rights campaigners in West Papua and elsewhere would be targets for such repression.


Motion in New Zealand Parliament on Media Freedom in West Papua

Recent John Rumbiak Human Rights Award recipient New Zealand MP Catherine Delahunty submitted a motion supporting media freedom in West Papua to parliament. The July 30 motion passed unanimously on voice vote. The motion said:

"I move that this House call upon the new President of Indonesia to commit to genuine media freedom in West Papua including the right of local and international journalists to report on the political situation there without risk of imprisonment or harassment by the Indonesian state."

See video here:

New Documentary Exposes Abuses in West Papua

A new film, "Isolated," documents human rights abuse in West Papua. The film was initially intended to focus on surfing. but the filmmakers unexpectedly encountered the human rights violations that are common in West Papua, especially in isolated areas beyond the scrutiny of foreign visitors. The film also exposes unethical mining operations. The filmmakers Ryan Phillippe and Geoffrey James Clark have encouraged people to sign their White House petition. The award-winning film is in theaters, iTunes, Xbox, Vudu, Playstation and on DVD. The new PIVOT network will premiere the documentary in September. For more information
visit .

Amnesty International Urges Widodo to Make Good on Rights Pledges

Amnesty International on July 22 called on President-elect Joko Widodo to keep his "promises to improve Indonesia’s dire human rights situation." Amnesty specifically mentioned his pledges to address "serious past human rights abuses, protecting freedom of religion, reforming the police and opening up access to Papua for international observers."

"Institutionalized Racism" in West Papua

An July 21 article in The International (now Record) describes the "institutionalized racism" as lying at the heart of Indonesian policy in West Papua. The report also notes the round up, torture, and continued imprisonment of KNPB activists who campaigned for a boycott of Indonesia’s presidential election.

Groups Write on Rights Violations in West Papua

A number of international and other organizations expressed concern "about the serious and ongoing violations of human rights that are taking place with impunity in the easternmost provinces of Indonesia Papua and West Papua. The letter urged Indonesia "to implement the recommendations that Indonesia accepted at its Periodic Review with regard to respecting human rights in Papua and West Papua, and to also reconsider the recommendations that Indonesia rejected." The letter, organized by VIVAT International, was supported by 25 other organizations, including ETAN.

Link to this issue:

Back issues of West Papua Report

Broader Special Autonomy as the way to Peace in Papua

August 7, 2014

Statement by Executive Director of LP3BH

In my position as the Executive-Director of the LP3BH – Manokwari,
I wish to convey a message to the newly elected President and
Vice-President of the Republic of Indonesia, urging them to consider
raising the status of the provinces of Papua and West Papua. The
present Special Autonomy status to be lifted to a higher level than
the special autonomy which is now in force.

This is based on stipulations contained in the 1945 Constitution
which provides the lawful basis for this.

The suggestion about having a more broad-based special autonomy in
regions where there a serious level of conflict such as the Land of
Papua was first made by Ali Alatas, the Foreign Minister in his book,
‘The Pebble in the Shoe: The Struggle for East Timor’ published by
Aksara Karunia in 2006. In his book, Ali Alatas spoke about the
importance of this status for non-state regions such as the former
province of East Timor.

As far as I can see, this also applicable the Land of Papua whose
people are continually being faced with political differences with
regard to their identity and their basic rights so as to be able to
provide the justification for laws regarding their flag and other
regional symbols.

This is very much like what happened with Puerto Rico in Latin
America when their sportsmen and women took part in the Olympiade
with regard the unfurling of their own flag and regional symbols as a
non-state entity.

Indonesia should also be considering the need for broader special
autonomy for non-state regions such as the Land of Papua. A firs step
in this direction would be appointing a special minister of state for
the Land of Papua in the forthcoming cabinet.

As I have already said previously, the tasks of the
Special State Minister for the Land of Papua would encompass such
issues as employing peaceful measures so as to ensure that West Papua
and its people remain an integral part of the Republic of Indonesia.

What this means in that, as soon as possible after installation of
the President and Vice-President in October this year, all non-organic
military personnel from both the army and the police should be
withdrawn from the Land of Papua.

The first step that needs to be taken is to cut back funding in the
budget for such activities as defence and security and using these
resources for humanitarian activities and not get involved in such
things as combating terrorism.

If the newly elected president agrees to appoint a special state
minister for Papua, one of the minister’s key tasks should be to
undertake an evaluation of special autonomy for the thirteen years
since Law 21/2001 was enacted, along with the amendments adopted in
Law 35/2008.

This evaluation is extremely important, bearing mind the
provisions of Law 21/2001,and this should also involve the Papuan
people, in particular the indigenous people living in the mountains in
the interior and should include every village and kampung as well as
towns and cities along the coast and across the whole territory from
Sorong and the Raja Ampat Islands to Samaray, the island of Biak and
the Island of Adi.

The other thing that needs to be done is to produce a format and
mechanism for Dialogue between Papua and Indonesia as the peaceful way
of formulating the role of the Land of Papua within the Indonesian

The dialogue should involve all those who are involved in
disputes, such as the Indonesian Army, the Police, the TPN-OPM as well
as political groups that are active inside Papua as well as overseas.

[Translated by Carmel Budiardjo]



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 33 other followers